Patsy Porco

A Really Crummy Day

In Driving, Humor on February 2, 2013 at 7:30 pm

“I’m dying,” I thought. “Every bone in my body is in agonizing pain. I must have bone cancer.” This was going through my head while I slept last night. I think I remember kneeling up on my mattress and doing yoga to relieve the pain. I could have dreamed that I assumed the child’s pose to stretch out my back, though. I suppose I’ll never know. If I did, I don’t think it did much for the pain, because I recall that, after doing it, or dreaming that I was doing it, my spine and all of the radiating bones were still on fire.

I also had a very sick stomach. I had gone to bed at 4 p.m. because of my stomach distress. I didn’t wake up for 19 hours, except to assume the child’s pose, if I did, and scare the wits out of my husband. I’m fairly certain that I picked up the stomach bug at the house where I babysit young children. They all had it on Wednesday and I got it on Friday; a two-day incubation period sounds reasonable. While the mother of the children assured me that she had wiped down the entire house with Lysol, she didn’t count on my kissing them. If I got the virus from them, it was my own fault. I just love kissing babies. Kissing sick babies, however, is just not a good idea.

But, back to my midnight musings: Because I had a sick stomach and exquisite pain (I’ve always wanted to use that phrase) in my spine, arms, legs, ribs, neck, and shoulders, I added possible heart attack to my bone-cancer self-diagnosis. Earlier that day, I had taken a CPR class, so I knew what the symptoms of a heart attack were. In my unconscious state, I deduced from my various symptoms that I was on my way out. Considering the pain that I was in, this was not an unwelcome thought.

Around 4 a.m., I went downstairs into the guest room to visit my husband, who had the sense not to sleep with someone who had a stomach bug. He jumped out of bed from fright, and after composing himself, he asked how I was. I told him that I was sick. Very sick. Oh-so-sick.  Then I left the room, according to him. I don’t remember much of this visit, except that I didn’t do yoga.  What I do recall is that during the time that I was prowling the house, the pain in my spine and numerous bones started to recede. By the time I had made it back upstairs, it was gone. I still had a stomach ache, but the bone cancer had cured itself.

Over the years, I have learned to accomplish things while sleeping. I often come up with ideas for my blog, invent things, create uses for tortilla shells, and recall old grudges. Last night, I solved a problem. I realized that my bones probably ached from the wind coming in through the windows behind my bed. So, I propped a bunch of pillows against the headboard and slept upside down, under a mass of blankets and comforters. In a matter of minutes, I was sleeping like a baby with a stomach ache.

Before I drifted into a heavy sleep, I remember being glad that I didn’t have bone cancer, and probably wasn’t having a heart attack. I also concluded that both my stomach virus and my inflamed bones could have been avoided. I should have worn a mask around the sick kids (or, at the very least, not kissed them), and I should have covered my draughty windows. I also should have read the directions that came with my GPS.

As I mentioned, I had taken a CPR class that morning. The class was half an hour away from my house. I planned on using my GPS to get there, but for once, I had a backup plan: I printed out directions. Why I did this is a mystery to me. I have never had a problem with my GPS before, but someone from the Great Beyond must have whispered “Google Maps” into my ear. And, it was a good thing that I didn’t disregard the Heavenly suggestion.

So, I got into the car, plugged in the GPS, and clicked on the screen that made me swear that I would not touch the GPS while I was driving. I then started the car while the GPS was powering up (I didn’t lie to the GPS; I planned on entering my destination when I was stopped at a red light).  As I drove toward the highway, an ear-piercing whistling sound emitted from the device. While driving, I fumbled with the switch on the top of the screen to shut it off, but the screeching continued. I ripped the power cord out, with the same result: the high-pitched whine would not stop.

I was now at the highway entrance and couldn’t pull over. The only thing to do was to shove the GPS between my thighs and keep my legs as tightly closed as possible. This lessened the noise a bit, but not enough. So, I scanned the radio stations until I found one that was playing rap music and played it full-blast. Every once in a while, I could hear the whining of the GPS, so I had to retighten my thighs. This was all done while reading the directions that were propped on the steering wheel.

By the time that I reached the American Red Cross building, my nerves were frayed.  After I parked, I looked at the switch on the GPS screen. I fumbled with it again and the noise still wouldn’t stop. Then I held the switch in the Off position for a few seconds. When I released it, all that I heard was blessed silence. While I was grateful that the thing finally shut off, it was annoying to realize that I could have avoided half an hour of electronic whining, loud rap music, and cramps in my thighs, if I had only learned in advance how to turn off the GPS.

After the class, I went home, became violently ill and went to bed. That’s where this story started, and that’s a good place to end it.

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